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Topics in Chronicling America - Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Known as the “Martin Luther” of his time, Charles Darwin shocks the world in 1859 and declares that humans are descendants of apes, rather than god’s humble creation. The religious community spirals into outrage, doing everything possible to thwart this man’s “delusional theory.” Darwin dies in 1882, but his evolution theory lives on, still managing to stir up controversy amongst preachers and scientists today. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Picture of Darwin

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1863-1898. Darwinism is occasionally discussed in newspapers. Scientists begin to lecture on Darwin’s evolution theory, mainly to the scientific community.
  • 1882. Darwin dies.
  • 1898. Firebrand preacher Rev. Talmage catches wind of Darwin’s evolution theory and begins giving disapproving sermons across the nation.
  • 1900. Darwin’s theory of evolution gains national acceptance and his intellectual pursuits are credited for “progressing the country.” His theories are even used in advertisements to promote furniture sales.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Darwin, Charles Darwin, Darwinism, evolution, natural selection, origin of species, eugenist, research, species, science.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 12, 2014
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